It’s true. You know, single mothers deserve a whole month of free spa days with paid vacation and an on-call nanny. It won’t happen, of course, but there should be a little something more than a card or an almost forgotten card and the celebration should last at least a week.
Single mothers work hard being everything to everyone all the time. It’s a tough job description that takes a special kind of woman to make it work. Most of my generation has taken a stab at single parenting at least once – some, several times. We never list that on our resumes, though. We should, because nothing says I Can Get Things Done like a single woman with a couple of kids, a job, a house to run, and at least one ex-somebody calling regularly to complain. Despite and because of it all, we manage to make the whole shebang run smoothly.
It’s no surprise. We’ve had generations of training. My grandmother was a war widow at 21 – five kids and no high school diploma. Make no mistake – just because there’s a box marked “widowed” on the form, that doesn’t mean the parenting is different. My mother has been married to my dad forever, but her marital status didn’t alter the fact that Dad was on the road most of the time and she was In Charge. Talk to any woman married in the late 50s and early 60s and they’ll tell you about single-parenting with or without the vows. Things were what they were in those days.
I’ve single-parented and now my daughter is, too. It’s not easy and sometimes it’s not fun, but it is what it is. Just tonight she managed to bathe afternoon play dirt and Ranch Dressing out of her son’s hair before the bedtime snuggle. Then she fixed the stopped up sink and repaired the disposal via googled instructions. If we find a wayward spider on the floor tonight, I imagine we’ll kill it ourselves.
Tomorrow’s our day – all of us out there loading the dishwasher and starting a pile of laundry and dragging out the trash now that the kids are in bed. We’re the queens of multitasking and the goddesses of Getting It Done. So bring on the macaroni necklaces and dandelions stolen from the neighbor’s yard – we’re ready to bask in the 24-hour glamor of Mother’s Day and we deserve all 1,440 minutes of it.